Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics 2021 'must be held at any cost' with or without coronavirus, admits Japan's government

THE 2021 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics must be held “at any cost,” according to Japan's government.

Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto claims the rescheduled Games should go ahead for the benefit of athletes despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hashimoto said: “Everyone involved with the Games is working together to prepare, and the athletes are also making considerable efforts towards next year.

“I think we have to hold the Games at any cost.

“I want to concentrate all our efforts on measures against the coronavirus.”

The former speed skater and track cyclist's participation at seven Olympics is a record for Japanese athletes.


And the 55-year-old believes the main aim now for next summer is to ensure competitors can take part whatever the global situation over Covid-19.

Outgoing prime minister Shinzo Abe had previously claimed a "complete Games" was still possible.

But lengthy talks over the summer could lead to limited capacities in stadiums with social distancing.

It is also thought athletes might be asked to stay in preparation camps ahead of moving into the Olympic Village.

Competitors could then need to leave the village directly after finishing their own events.

That would mean a dramatic change to the Olympic finale – as athletes traditionally remain until after the closing ceremony.

At this stage, though, it seems Tokyo chiefs are unwilling to reduce the number of events and athletes.

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